15 November 2006

Eternal Memory

We had the memorial service today for SSG Martinez, SGT(P) Jackson, and SGT Lucio.

Couple interesting points:

SGT Lucio got married on leave this year.

SGT(P) Jackson's leave was coordinated to coincide with the birth of his daughter, his fourth child.

All three of these men were on their second tour in combat, SSG Martinez was on this third.

The reason all three NCOs from 3rd Squad, 1st Platoon were in a single vehicle was because the EMs had been running for six days straight, and the NCOs decided to take the escort duty in order to provide them the time to drink their 2 beers on the 10th and get some down time.

The Army is exceedingly good at memorial services. I mean, really good. I wish each of you had the opportunity to see one for yourself, not to hammer away at you or create a sense of guilt, but for the insight into a Soldier's mindset and to see how we say goodbye.

At least we never have to ask why a Soldier died. These three NCOs died in the process of attempting to pick up a wounded infantryman from a Bradley. They pulled up to the damaged vehicle, and the secondary IED went off, destroying their vehicle. Proximate cause.

Root cause, they died because of who and what they were, and they died doing what they loved, in accordance with their calling. Every one of them was a professional who knew the score and knew the risks, and rolled out on mission every day regardless. They set the example for their Soldiers and took care of them the best they knew how.

I'm not saying I'm thrilled or anything like that, but the formal goodbye, the three volleys and the Roll Call, and then the rendering of honors. . .


Anonymous nerdasaaurus said...

God bless you John, God Bless the USA.

He Himself says that He will be the father of the fatherless, and the husband to the widow. I pray that He will make Himself known to them in a unique and powerful way--and demonstrate to them that Love transcends even death. The love of those husbands--the love of a father--is but a dim reflection of the Love of God. But even that dim reflection is powerful enough to make the Heavens weep. And so they do--we all do.

But there is a time for weeping, and a time to kick some ass. Do one, then the other. We can all weep, but we can't all kick ass. We nominate you and a few hundred thousand of your brothers-in-arms to do it for us. We don't pay you enough money or respect, but some of us are grateful. I hope you remember that--and remind your brotherhood when necessary.

7:20 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Greater love...

8:26 PM  
Anonymous Zach Bush said...

They sound like they were exceptional, regular people who died doing what they did best. From what you say, it sounds like their memorial was well-served. SGT Jackson's children, although now absent a father, will always have something of which to be proud.

9:40 PM  
Blogger A Soldier's Girl said...

To absent comrades.

9:57 PM  
Blogger Consul-At-Arms said...

To us and those like us: Engineers Lead The Way!

3:22 AM  
Blogger sophia said...

Thanks for letting us know what happened.

I'm so glad the Army is exceedingly good at memorial services. I'm grateful that the services bring acknowlegement and recognition to the job these soldiers performed for our country as their calling.

May their memory be eternal.

1:09 PM  

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